BOLIVAR – Southwest Baptist University conferred 220 undergraduate and 280 graduate degrees during two ceremonies Saturday, May 19, on the Bolivar campus. Another 131 degrees were conferred Thursday, May 17, in Springfield, to graduates of the Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences of SBU.
“We are pleased that we can honor our graduates and worship God during this time of celebration,” said Dr. C. Pat Taylor, president of SBU. “Commencement is the most important academic event for any university. It is a time when we celebrate the success of our graduates and their accomplishments. It is a time when we, as a university, recognize that we have completed our primary objective; and our primary objective is graduating students.”
Taylor, who has served as SBU president since coming to Bolivar in October 1996 and who retires this fall, was greeted with a chant of “C. Pat! C. Pat! C.Pat!” from the 2018 graduates.
“I always enjoy the chant of ‘C.Pat!’” Taylor said. “It’s been a great 22 years and I cannot think of a better group to graduate with, so I’m happy to be graduating with the 2018 class.”
During the graduate programs ceremony, and his final as SBU president, Taylor reiterated that commencement is his favorite time of the year, and shared his final commencement thoughts for the graduates from the heart.
“We make choices every day,” Taylor told students. “One of the choices we make every day is how do we spend our time. God gives you a gift of 24 hours in a day. I challenge you to use your time wisely; it is a gift. Every day is a gift from God.
He told the graduates to be kind every day, to choose humility and to have a thankful heart. He closed with one of his favorite verses, Joshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”